Grants can be defined as the award of public funds that are non-repayable or repayable only under certain circumstances to natural persons or legal entities outside public administrative organisations at federal, state or local authority level. Grants are promotional measures which are part of the work of the public finance administration. The finance administration also supports services such as the running of museums and libraries and infrastructural measures for maintaining existence such as road construction. The finance administration is distinguished from the executive administration, which deals with public order policy, and the tax administration, which manages public money for the administration itself.

The work of the promotional measures sector involves awarding grants either as subsidies to private industry or as grants to private persons. The public administration also pays out grants in the form of programmes, project support or support for institutions. Grants come from various financial sources, including the European Structural Fund or the budget for youth aid. The overriding aim of the promotional measures administration is to open up opportunities for development for private companies and private persons with the intention of increasing the efficiency of companies, supporting individual freedoms and guaranteeing equal opportunities for the enjoyment of individual freedoms. To this end, grants are awarded to support scientific, scholarly, economic, cultural or structural projects in the implementation of which the respective administrations have a particular interest.

So grants help to achieve social policy goals and thus to assert public interests. Public interests are interests of women and of men. It follows from this that grants must take women and men equally but differentially into account. Research in ministries and departments, which is financed by public grants, is thus not an end in itself, but supports the preparation of general laws or of information on certain issues of general interest. It must therefore take account of gender perspectives if it is to be at all useful.

The strategy of Gender Mainstreaming helps those deciding on the award of grants and the structuring of conditions for the award of grants systematically to take gender equality issues into account as part of these processes. This means, for example, integrating gender equality-oriented objectives at the stage of award and invitation for applications for programmes, projects and other promotable measures. This is important above all because grants make it possible to exercise a certain amount of control over actors such as private industry and private persons, as the award of grants from public funds puts incentives in place to encourage or indeed avoid certain behaviour. So consideration should be given when planning grant-aid goals to which actions are intended to be produced and how gender equality is taken into account as an integral component.

In the case of programmes, relatively flexible financial means can be combined with political structuring. Such programmes are usually implemented by awarding a one-off payment or by means of payments agreed by contract. Gender equality as a goal to be achieved has already been incorporated as a requirement in many programmes, i.e. the implementation of GM is a requirement. These programmes cover a wide range of subject areas including infrastructure, employment, youth aid, education, culture and science.

As grants make up a significant part of public budget planning, there is a close connection here with gender budgeting, by means of which the distribution of resources is subjected to a gender-related analysis and is evaluated in terms of orientation to gender equality.

If you propose investigating gender perspectives in the grants policy field, you could begin by asking these three questions:

●    what impact is intended on the lives of people by means of the grant?
●    at which target group(s) are grants aimed? Are there differences between men and women in the target group in terms of representation, resources, living conditions and values and norms?
●    who benefits directly and who benefits indirectly from the grants?

In other words, planning of the intended goal is immensely important when awarding grants. It is also important always to bear in mind the goals and impacts of grant-aid policy as a whole, differentiating in terms of the different lives of women and men. Anybody awarding grants should ask themselves how far grants themselves contribute to inscribing gender relations one way or the other, promoting either gender equality or discrimination.

There are several gender aspects which are often important in a consideration of grants.

erstellt von Administrator zuletzt verändert: 02.01.2010 20:07